Wellness programs bring employers many benefits, including improved morale, reduced absenteeism and substantial savings on health care costs. But wellness programs are great for employees, too—and not only because they inspire them to get fit.
Here are five ways wellness programs enrich employees’ lives:
They make employees healthier.
This one may be a little obvious given that the point of a wellness program is to improve employees’ health. But what you may not realize is just how much healthier wellness program participants become. The statistics are inspiring. Sixty-two percent of employees say their wellness programs have reduced their health risks. Forty-three percent say they miss fewer days of work. Forty-nine percent lose weight, while 59% have more energy.
Individual companies have reported startling successes. After Johnson & Johnson adopted a wellness program, its employees’ rates of high blood pressure and inactivity dropped by more than half. At Blue Shield of California, smoking rates decreased by 48% and rates of high blood pressure dropped by 66%.
They help employees create healthy habits.
Wellness programs encourage employees to eat right, exercise and put more thought into preventative health. Seventy-six percent of employees say their companies’ wellness programs have increased their levels of physical activity. San Diego health care system Scripps Health’s wellness program dramatically reduced the number of employees at risk due to lack of exercise, from 64% in 2006 to 17% in 2010. It also increased the number who ate more fruit and vegetables by 8%.
They increase job satisfaction.
Wellness programs send the message that a company cares about its employees’ well-being: 67% of employees who work for companies with wellness programs say their employers take care of them. When employees feel valued, they become more loyal to their employers and more invested in their organizations’ success. Forty-five percent of employees say wellness programs are one reason they stay with their current employers.
They improve job performance.
Fifty-one percent of employees say they work harder and perform better due to their participation in a wellness program, while 59% say wellness initiatives have given them more energy and made them more productive. Strong job performance, in turn, leads to other benefits, like higher job satisfaction and increased self-esteem.
They make companies better places to work.
Seventy-seven percent of workers say wellness programs have a positive impact on the culture of their workplace, and it’s not hard to see why. Wellness programs give employees many opportunities for fun and socialization, like exercise classes and groups, challenges, team activities and special events like fun runs. They create a shared sense of purpose and give employees common goals to rally around. In many cases, wellness programs even improve workplaces in more tangible ways: healthier food in the cafeteria, exercise balls at desks and artwork in the stairwells to encourage people to use them.
Wellness programs can create a positive feedback loop. Employees who take part in them get healthier and feel their employers care about them. They then become more productive and committed to their organizations, who, in turn, value them even more. Don’t miss out on these powerful benefits. If you don’t yet have a wellness program, consider investing in one today.
Interested in adopting a wellness program?